Asturias is a Spanish region, located in the north west of the peninsula. Its borders limits with Galicia, in the west, Cantabria in the east, Castilla y León in the south and the Cantabric sea in the North.
The official language is Spanish, and the regional language is Bable.
Generally the people is very friendly and helpful, although in small villages the English is not always well spoken. Nevertheless, after a couple of cider bottles language is not longer a problem J .
Asturias is famous mainly for its natural sites and reach gastronomy.
The mountains (Cordillera Cantábrica), lay very close to the coast line, giving this region a very characteristic climate and cliffy coast. Unlike the most known parts of Spain, Asturias has frequent rain and high humidity, leading to a very reach and green landscape.
June is the early start of the summer in this region, so it might be sunny as well as rainy, but never very cold J .
Asturias has very Celtic heritage and therefore our culture is spiced up with lots of mythology, back pipes and cider.
You can find more interesting information at:
The most typical drink of Asturias is the apple cider; but unlike English cider is not sweet, does not have sparkles and has to be serve by “throwing” it into a very thin glass, which makes the cider drinking, a ritual in itself. In summer afternoons and weekends is very usual to see crouded and joyfully noisy "merenderos" ( sort of cafe-bar were you can enjoy some tapas and drinks in the garden), and suares filled with people drinking and eating pinchos
Of course as a region of Spain, you can enjoy very good red wines, as the well known Riojas, Riveras del Duero and many others. Not so well know thought are the white wines of the northern part of Spain, like Alvariño, Rueda and Txakoli, very fruity, tasty and delicate.
As well, in summer evenings it can not be miss the Sangria (wine, Cider or Champaign spiced up with fruit and soft drinks), Claras (beer with lemon soda or c
Casera) and Tinto de verano (wine with Casera = sweet sparkling water).
As for the food, mmm.... where to start.
Like any other Spanish meal, normally we have lunch as the heaviest meal, and it is composed of 2-3 courses and a desert. It is normally served from 13-15. Our diner thought is much lighter.
The most know tapas-pinchos (normally taken as appetizers on lunch time or dinner) from Asturias are for example: Chorizos in cider, Spanish omelet, patatas bravas or alioli, tortos con Cabrales (deep fried corn bread with a very strong version of blue cheese), rabas (deep fried rings of squeed), pulpo con patatas (octopus with potatoes), chopitos (deep fries minisqueeds), some dried meet like Serrano jam, lomo, cecina…and all sorts of cheese.
Asturias produce a very wide variety of cheese, both, cow, sheep, goat and mixed. Some of my favourites are: queso aumado de pria (smoked cheese, medium strength), Afuega´l pitu (there is two versions hot and fresh), queso Casín (medium-strong), queso Cabrales (strong), queso de Vidiago (mild).
Cheese is taken both as a predinner, but most times as dessert too.
The indisputable typical dish of Asturias in “la Fabada”, which is a rather heavy but tasty dish made with white beans and diverse sausages and dried meet. In this part of Spain there are very typical what we call the dishes “de cuchara”, which means hot dishes that should be eaten with a spoon. Some of them are Pote Asturiano, lentejas, fabes con almejas, fabes con jabalí, cocido montañes, cocido madrileño, crema castellana, caldo de gallina ….
As any other coastal region, we have some excellent and fresh sea food dishes, like for example: Cetollo y ñocla (crabs), crema de necoras, fish soup, sardines in the grill, grilled tuna, gambon and quisquilla (shimps), Rodaballo and lenguado (flat fishes), percebes (barnacles), angulas (baby eels), almejas (clams), oricios (sea urchins)…the availability of this delicious dishes, ofcourse depends on the season.
Now for the meet. Asturias used to be a region of cow agriculture, and because of that we still have very good quality of cow meet and milk products. Nevertheless some of the delicatessens you will found here include lamb, pork and hunt.
Some typical meat dishes are for example: Venado, liebre and jabalí in divers souses (deer, rabit and wild pig), calf or cow in all varieties, cordero a la estaca (lamb cooked in an open fire), cochinillo (piglet) and many others, like some insides for those that dare… like tangue, kidneys or liver…
As I stated before cheese is commonly ordered as dessert, but there are many other choices as well, here comes some:
Arroz con leche (sweet rice with milk), natillas (sweet vanilla cream), cuajada honey and wallnuts(sort of sheep, goat or cow yogurt), tarta gijones, tarta charlota, tarta milhojas, tarta de santiago ( tarta = cake, but it is easy that you taste them tan that I descrive then J), Quesada (sort of cheese cake), Flan (kind of pudding), tocinillo (same but 5 times sweeter).
Normally desert is followed by cafe with or witho a spiritus, that is up to you. we have some typical too, like crema de orujo (kind of bayles), orujo (aquardente)...
Of course in this description I am missing a lot, but you will hopefully be here soon to discover more J
Places you can not miss:
Now what to see, I will separate the possible activities in the dificulty, transport needed and time required. I hope that way you can get out of this tryp a great experience :).
1. San Emeterio, Playa de Cobigero (Buelna) y los Bufones de Pimiango
2. Fuentedé y Picos de Europa
4. La desmbocadura del rio cabra
5. El Naranjo de Bulnes y Poncebos
6. Las cuevas del Soplao
7. La ruta del alba y el parque de redes
7. Santillana del Mar
Other Activities available in the area:
- Horse riding excursions
- River Canoeing
- River drifting
- Cannons descenses